This week we have a question and answer with St John’s chef Daniel Lindley He was also nice enough to share a recipe with us. Sadly we don’t have a picture for you but we do highly suggest you give the ST John a try if you’re in the area.
1. What attracted you to cooking? Cooking involves the senses perhaps more so than any occupation. My first restaurant job was at age seventeen washing dishes and I remember being exhilarated by the smells in the kitchen. I enjoy the pressure and performance aspect of the job as well.
2. What is the philosophy behind your cooking, or in your kitchen? I am certainly a product driven chef. I like to think of my food as being refined but not too fussy or overdone
3. What is the biggest influence on the way you cook? My drive for balance certainly influences the way I cook. My kitchens physical parameters certainly influence the way I cook here at St. John's. We have a very small kitchen. What we do with five cooks in my kitchen, restaurants in New York do with twelve or more (literally).
4. Is there a chef living today you would like to work with? I am a huge fan of Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison in NYC
5. Is there a particular ingredient you like to cook with more than others? Mushrooms-morels especially
6. If stuck on a desert isle and could have one meal from then on out what would it be? . Braised Beef Cheeks with yukon gold potato puree & balsamic onion relish
7. Besides your own what restaurants would you recommend any where in the world. Eleven Madison (NYC)
Osteria La Piana (Siena, Italy)
8. Would you be willing to share a recipe with us?
Roasted "Cinderella" Pumpkin Soup
For the pumpkin- split one pumpkin horizontally, scrape the seeds out, score the flesh, press cubes of butter in scored areas, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast until pumpkin is caramelized and very tender. 375 degrees to 425. When finished let it rest for 15 minutes and then scrape out the flesh. Discard the skin and liquid in the pan.
While the pumpkin is roasting- small dice 4 large shallots, 2 peeled winesap apples and one bulb of fennel. Sweat this mixture out until very tender with olive oil and butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Pureeing the soup- marry the shallot, apple & fennel mixture with the roasted pumpkin in a blender and puree until smooth. Finish with a touch of heavy cream while in blender and adjust seasoning if necessary.
To serve- heat soup and bowl. Garnish with chopped pancetta or guanciale and scoop a quenelle of whipped creme fraiche infused with a touch of nutmeg on top. Finish with minced chives.
Key reminders- pumpkin must be roasted fully. Not Baked! The carmelization makes the soup. Also Veg/apple mixture must be very tender before it is blended.
As always thanks for stopping by and if you happen to stop by one of the restaurants you find in our blog let them know you heard about them here! If you have any questions or comments we would love to here from you at Barb or Jonathan @milehigheater.com
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